SYLLABUS: ENGLISH 50: "ROMANTIC
Professor: Michael Gamer
Class meets: MWF noon in Bennett Hall, Room 222
Office and Phone: 203 Bennett Hall, (215) 898-7346
Office Hours: M 1-2, W 1-2:30, and by appt.
Julie Schutzman (WATU, schutzm@english): 4th Floor Bennett Hall,
cubicle A-5. Hours to be announced.
Julie Schutzman's Mailbox: 4th Floor Bennett Hall
Katy Milligan's Office (WATU, kmilli@english): TBA
Katy Milligan's Mailbox: You can drop off mail at the Comp Lit
Office, 420 Williams Hall.
BULKPACKS #1, #2, and #3:
At Wharton Reprographics, Wharton School. Phone: 8-7600.
TEXTS:Available at Penn Book Center, 3726 Walnut, ph:222-7600.
- A Guide to the New MLA Documentation Style. Ed. J. Trimmer.
- Cambridge Companion to British Romanticism, ed. S. Curran
(Cambridge, 1993). ISBN#0521421934
- The New Oxford Book of Romantic Period Verse, ed. J. J.
McGann (Oxford, 1993).
- Blake, William. The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (Dover).
- Lord Byron, Selected Poems (Dover).
- Clare, John. Selected Poetry and Prose. Ed. Raymond
- Keats, John. Poems (Everyman).
- Stoppard, Tom. Arcadia.
- Wordsworth and Coleridge, Lyrical Ballads. Routledge, 2nd
Students should note first and foremost that this class will run as an
open discussion, and not as a lecture course. Its first 8 weeks will run
as a typical survey in which we read individual poems by several poets of
the Romantic Period (in this case, 1770-1841), paying special attention
to historical and political context. Once we've become acquainted with
the poetry and with the significant events and issues of the period, we
will then do a second run-through of this same historical period. This
time, however, we will not read individual poems but rather actual and
entire collections of poetry that our writers published during their
lifetimes: Wordsworth and Coleridge's Lyrical Ballads (1798 and 1800
editions), Robinson's Lyrical Tales (1800), and Keats's Lamia (1820).
The course also requires that you have an e-mail account and that you use
it. There will be four short paragraphs, six listserv responses, two
short essays, a long essay, and an annotated bibliography assignment.
There will also be a comprehensive final exam.
Students may use this course to complete HALF the usual English 202
requirement. A second course in British poetry of either the 18th century
or Victorian poetry is required.
UNIT ONE: THE [UN]ENLIGHTENED SUBLIME AND BEAUTIFUL: POETRY AND
THE FRENCH REVOLUTION
NOTE: unless otherwise stated, you will find the poems in the McGann
anthology, The New Oxford Book of Romantic Period Verse.
- Jan 15: Opening Day of the Course: Romanticism and
"The Solitary Reaper" (1807; handout).
- Jan 17: Enclosure I. Reading: Jerome J. McGann's
"Introduction" to The New Oxford Book of Romantic Period Verse
(1993). For Discussion: Oliver Goldsmith, The
Deserted Village (1770).
- Jan 19: The Sublime, the Beautiful, and the Picturesque I:
Sensibility, Sympathy, Contagion, and The Beautiful. Reading: Edmund
Burke, selections from A
Philosophical Enquiry into the Origins of
Our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful (1757; in bulkpack #1);
Mara Williams, "Sonnet: To Twilight," "A Song," "Sonnet to
Mrs. Siddons" (1786; all in bulkpack #1). For Discussion: Helen Maria
Sensibility" (1786; in bulkpack #1); William Wordsworth, "Sonnet on
Seeing Miss Helen Maria Williams
Weep at a Tale of Distress" (1788; in bulkpack #1). PARAGRAPH DUE
- Jan 22: Della Cruscanism. Reading: Jerome McGann, "The
Literal World of the English Della Cruscans" (1995; in bulkpack #1); read
Robert Merry, "Madness"; William Parsons, "Medoro's Inscription Book
XXIII"; Mary Robinson, "Canzonet." For Discussion (read in this order):
Robert Merry, "The Adieu and Recall to Love"; Hanna Cowley, "To Della
Crusca. The Pen" and "Ode to Della Crusca"; Robert Merry, "To Anna
Matilda"; William Gifford, from The Baviad. ARTICLE SUMMARY DUE
- Jan 24: Della Cruscanism, Dissenting Science, and the Legacy
of Alexander Pope. Reading: Peter
Gay, "The Enlightenment in Its World"
(in bulkpack #1). For Discussion: Alexander Pope, two short passages
from An Essay
on Criticism (1712; in bulkpack #1) and The
Rape of the Lock (1714; in bulkpack #1); Immanuel
to the Question, What Is Enlightenment?" (1788; bulkpack #1) ; Erasmus
Darwin, The Loves of the Plants. PARAGRAPH DUE GROUP #3
- Jan 26: The Sublime, the Beautiful, and the Picturesque II.
Reading: Edmund Burke, selections from A
Philosophical Enquiry into
the Origins of Our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful (1757:
bulkpack #1); Hannah Cowley, "Invocation. To Horror"; William Blake,
"Sonnet V." For Discussion: Anne Radcliffe, "Night"; Helen
Williams, "Part of an Irregular Fragment, Found in a Dark Passage of the
Tower" (1786; in bulkpack #1). PARAGRAPH DUE GROUP #5
- Jan 29: The Enlightenment and What It Left Out I. Reading:
David Erdman, Blake: Prophet against Empire, Chapters 7-8
(1954; in bulkpack #1). For Discussion: William Blake, The Marriage
of Heaven and Hell (1790). We will concentrate on plates 1-13.
Make sure that you read the Dover Illuminated Book version of this poem,
and not the text version that's in the anthology. PARAGRAPH DUE GROUP #1.
- Jan 31: The Enlightenment and What It Left Out II. Reading:
Marilyn Butler, "Introduction";
Helen Maria Williams, Selections from Letters
(1789-90; in bulkpack #2); Edmund Burke, selections from Reflections
on the Revolution in France (1790; in bulkpack #2); Thomas Paine,
selections from The
Rights of Man (1791-92; in bulkpack #2).
For Discussion: Anna Letitia Barbauld, "The
Mouse's Petition" (1773; in
bulkpack #2), and "On
the General Expected Rising of
the French Nation" (1792; in bulkpack #2). PARAGRAPH DUE GROUP #4.
- Feb 2: The Enlightenment and What It Left Out III. For
Discussion: Reread The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1790). We
will concentrate on plates 14-25. PARAGRAPH DUE GROUP #3
- Feb 5: The Enlightenment and What It Left Out IV. Reading:
Mary Wollstonecraft, selections from A
Vindication of the Rights of
Woman (1792; in bulkpack #2). For Discussion: Anna Letitia
Rights of Woman" (in bulkpack #2); Richard Polwhele,
selections from The
Unsex'd Females. PARAGRAPH DUE GROUP #1.
- Feb 7: Blake and Wollstonecraft I. Reading: David Erdman,
Blake: Prophet against Empire, Chapter 10 (1954; in bulkpack
#1). For Discussion: William Blake,
Visions of the Daughters of Albion (1793). ARTICLE SUMMARY DUE FOR
- Feb 9: Blake and Wollstonecraft II. Reading: Nelson Hilton,
"An Original Story" (1986; in bulkpack #3). For Discussion:
Visions of the Daughters of Albion (1793). PARAGRAPH
DUE GROUP #5.
- Feb 12: Counter-Revolution: The Backlash for Order and
Against Liberty I. Reading: John Wolcot (alias "Peter Pindar, Esq."),
"Hymn to the Guillotine"; William Crowe, "In evil hour, and with
unhallow'd voice"; George Canning and William Gifford, "The Progress of
Man." For Discussion: Robert Southey, "The Widow"; George Canning and
William Gifford, "Sapphics." PARAGRAPH DUE GROUP #2
- Feb 14: Counter-Revolution: The Backlash for Order and
Against Liberty II. For Discussion: George Canning and William Gifford,
selections from the Anti-Jacobin (1797-98; in bulkpack #2).
PARAGRAPH DUE GROUP #4.
- Feb 16: The Romantic Political Sonnet I. Read Stuart
Curran, "Women Readers, Women Writers" from The Cambridge Companion
to British Romanticism. Read through the first half of the
collection of sonnets that are in your bulkpack #2. For Discussion:
Please choose the sonnet that you want us to discuss. PARAGRAPH DUE
- Feb 19: The Sublime, The Beautiful, and The Picturesque III.
Reading: Uvedale Price, On
the Picturesque, chapters 4-5 (1807;
in bulkpack #2). For Discussion: William Wordsworth, "Elegiac
Stanzas Suggested by a Picture of Peele Castle". PARAGRAPH DUE GROUP #3
- Feb 21: The Romantic Political Sonnet II. Read through the
second half of the collection of sonnets that are in your bulkpack #2.
They are mostly from William Wordsworth, "Sonnets Dedicated to Liberty,"
a section of his Poems, in Two Volumes (1807). For Discussion:
William Wordsworth, "Sonnet Composed on Westminster Bridge"; and Percy
Shelley, "Ozymandius." SHORT ESSAY #1 DUE AT OR BEFORE THE BEGINNING
UNIT TWO: POETRY BEFORE AND AFTER WATERLOO
- Feb 23: Ruins and Fragments I: The Giaour.
For Discussion: Lord Byron, The Giaour. There are also helpful
notes to this poem in bulkpack #2, written by Jerome McGann for his
edition of Byron: The Complete Poetical Works. PARAGRAPH DUE
- Feb 26: Ruins and Fragments II: The Giaour.
Reading: Follow the directions on the periodical assignment. For
Discussion: The Giaour. PERIODICAL ASSIGNMENT DUE TODAY.
- Feb 28: Other Byrons: The Problem of Autobiography I.
Reading: Selections from Childe
Harold's Pilgrimage, Canto
III. For Discussion: Finish The Giaour. PARAGRAPH DUE
- Mar 1: Other Byrons: The Problem of Autobiography II. For
Discussion: Lord Byron, Beppo: A Venetian Story (1818; entire
poem in the Dover dollar Byron). PARAGRAPH DUE GROUP #2
- Mar 4: Shelley and Landscapes of the Mind. Reading:
Selected Letters from 1816 by Shelley in bulkpack #2; Percy Shelley,
"Hymn to Intellectual Beauty." For Discussion: Percy Shelley, "Mont Blanc."
- Mar 6: Shelley and Landscapes of Revolution I. Reading: "To
a Skylark." For Discussion: "Ode to the West Wind."
- Mar 8: Shelley and Landscapes of Revolution II. Reading:
Selected Letters from 1819 by Shelley in bulkpack #2. For Discussion:
Percy Shelley, The Masque of Anarchy (composed 1819, published
1832; in bulkpack #2), and "England in
1819." SHORT ESSAY #2 DUE AT OR BEFORE THE BEGINNING OF CLASS
- SPRING VACATION: Enjoy yourselves; read through John Clare,
Selected Poetry and Prose, including the Introduction and the
Critical Appendix. If you are dying to work, begin reading for your long
- Mar 18: Reading: Raymond Williams' Introduction to John
Clare, Selected Poetry and Prose. We will spend four class
periods on Clare. Per class, we will discuss one or two poems in depth.
I strongly recommend, however, that you simply read the Selected
Poetry and Prose cover to cover, dipping in as you wish, and moving
on if a poem does not please you. Raymond Williams is perhaps the most
important materialist critic working in England in the last 40 years; his
introduction is excellent and the critical appendix are both excellent.
The edition is littered with short prose passages (in 'quotations marks'
in the table of contents) written by Clare that are very entertaining as
well, and will give you a huge amount of insight into this fascinating
poet. Clare cluster #1: "The Mores," "The Lament of Swordy Well," and
"Remembrances." ARTICLE SUMMARY DUE FOR WILLIAMS
- Mar 20: Clare cluster #2: "The Thrushes Nest," "The
Pettichaps Nest," "The Mouse's Nest," "The Yellowhammer's Nest," "The
Wild Duck's Nest." All of these poems are superb, and to an extent speak
to one another. If you think that you want to write a paper on Clare's
work, I strongly advise that you read through all of the bird's nest
poems. They are short, and fascinating.
- Mar 22: Clare cluster #3: "The Badger," "The Fox."
- Mar 25: Clare cluster #4: Poems of John Clare's Madness.
Reading: From the anthology: Lord Byron, "Messalonghi. January 22,
1824. On this Day I Complete my Thirty-Sixth Year"; Felicia Hemans, "The
Lost Pleiad". From Clare: "Journey out of Essex," "byron's funeral,"
"don juan." For Discussion: "I am," "The Peasant Poet," "Letter to
James Hipkins," and "To John Clare."
UNIT THREE: ROMANTIC BOOKS AND THE RECEPTION OF ROMANTICISM
- Mar 27: Reading: "Advertisement"
Ballads (1798). For Discussion: "Goody Blake and Harry Gill," and
- Mar. 29: Reading: Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lyrical
Ballads (1798), and read "Lines Written on the Seat of a Yew Tree,"
"Expostulation and Reply" and "The Tables Turned" twice. Read James
Averill, "The Shape of Lyrical Ballads" (1981; in bulkpack #3).
ALSO: Go and read some contemporary Reviews of Lyrical
Ballads. I will provide you with appropriate citation information.
For Discussion: "Tintern Abbey." ARTICLE SUMMARY DUE FOR AVERILL.
- Apr 3: Reading: Read through Volume II of Lyrical
Ballads (1800). Read Marlon Ross, "Naturalizing Gender: Woman's
Place in Wordsworth's Ideological Landscape" (in bulkpack #3). Read
"Hart-Leap Well," "There Was a Boy," "Strange Fits of Passion," "Three
Years She Grew in Sun and Shower," and "She Dwelt Among the Untrodden
Ways," twice. For Discussion: "Lucy Gray," and "Song" ("A slumber did
my spirit seal"). ARTICLE SUMMARY DUE FOR ROSS.
- Apr 5: Reading: Preface to Lyrical
For Discussion: "Michael". ONE PAGE PROSPECTUS FOR LONG PAPER DUE.
- Apr 8: Reading: Stuart Curran, "Mary Robinson's Lyrical
Tales in Context" (1994; in bulkpack #3); Begin reading Mary
Robinson, Lyrical Tales (1800)--first 1/2 of the book. For
Discussion: "The Haunted Beach" and "The Fugitive." ARTICLE SUMMARY DUE
- Apr 10: Reading: Mary Robinson, Lyrical Tales
(1800). For Discussion: We will concentrate on the number of poems in
this volume that are about abandoned and solitary figures--particularly
women and non-English characters. So, be sure to look at poems like "All
Alone," "The Poor Singing Dame," "The Lascar," "The Hermit of Mont
Blanc," "The Negro Girl," "The Alien Boy," "Poor Marguerite," etc. For
Discussion, we will most likely choose one poem as a class and work with
it the entire class period.
- Apr 12: Reading: Mary Robinson, Lyrical Tales
(1800). Make sure that you read the final long poem, entitled "Golfre, a
Gothic Swiss Tale, in Five Parts. Discussion: "Old Barnard" and "The
Confessor" or a 1 poem chosen by the class.
- Apr 15: Reading, Greg Kucich, "Leigh Hunt and Romantic
Spenserianism" and Constance Rooke, "Romance and Reality in The Eve
of St. Agnes" (in bulkpack #3) Begin Reading John Keats, Lamia,
Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnes, and Other Poems (1820). For
discussion: The Eve of St. Agnes. ARTICLE SUMMARY DUE FOR
EITHER KUCICH OR ROOKE.
- Apr 17: Reading: Continue reading the Keats volume. Read
through all of the "Odes" and "To Autumn" twice. For Discussion: "Ode
to a Nightingale" and "Ode on a Grecian Urn."
- Apr 19: Reading: Lamia. For Discussion: "To
Autumn" and begin Lamia. LONG ESSAY DUE.
- Apr 22: Reading: Stuart Curran, "Romantic Poetry: Why and
Wherefore?" in The Cambridge Companion to British Romanticism.
For discussion: Lamia.
- Apr 24: For Discussion: Tom Stoppard, Arcadia (1994).
- Apr 26: Finish Arcadia and course (1994).
MAY 1: PORTFOLIOS ARE DUE AT MY OFFICE BETWEEN 10:30 AND 4
PM. YOU ARE MORE THAN WELCOME TO HAND THEM IN EARLIER IN THE WEEK. LATE
PORTFOLIOS WILL BE PENALIZED 1/3 OF A GRADE PER DAY LATE. PORTFOLIOS NOT
HANDED IN BY MAY 8 WILL RECEIVE A FAILING GRADE.
COURSE POLICIES AND VITAL INFORMATION
COMPUTER INFORMATION: The syllabus, all course handouts,
and all other important info will be on-line.
- 1. To send a message to the class listserver: "mail" a message
to: firstname.lastname@example.org. When you send a message to this
address, the entire class will be able to read it and respond to it.
- 2. To reply to a message that has been sent to you via the class
listserver: make sure that you hit "g" (it stands for "group reply") if
you want to send your reply to the entire class. Hit "r" (for "reply")
if you only want to reply to the person who sent the message. The best
thing to do is double-check whom you are sending it to.
- 3. To get to my homepage using Lynx (where all the non-book course
materials also will be available on line):
- Log into your e-mail account.
- At the %MAIN MENU prompt, type "lynx."
- Once in Lynx, type "g" (which stands for "go to").
- Type the address to my home page:
http://www.english.upenn.edu/~mgamer/home.html. To get right to the
course materials, go to
- Once you're in Lynx, use up and down arrow keys to move in the
document; use the left arrow to go back the way you came; use the right
arrow to select various choices in the document. Have fun!
- 4. To get to my hompage using Netscape: Simply select the "Open"
icon, and then type in my www address:
http://www.english.upenn.edu/~mgamer/home.html. WITH NETSCAPE YOU WILL
GET PICTURES, ETC.
- Classes Begin 1/15.
- Add period ends 1/26.
- Drop period ends 2/16.
- Spring Break 3/11 - 3/15.
- Last day of class 4/26.
- Portfolio due 5/1
- Final Exams 5/2 - 5/10.
You are required to have an electronic mail account.
I do not require you to use the English gopher, the world wide web, or
any of the internet, but an electronic mail account--and checking it at
least a couple of times a week--is required. Until you send an
electronic mail message to me, I will not consider you registered for the
class, and I will drop those of you on the course lists who do not get
electronic mail accounts. I do this because I will use electronic mail
as my chief way of making course announcements, sending out reminders,
and communicating with you.
Also, this course will have an electronic mailing list (known as a
listserver) that will have all of our names on it. If you send a message
to email@example.com, your message will go to
everyone in the class. This way, you will be able to do many things: 1)
conduct discussions outside of class, 2) ask for information on what we
did in class if you miss a meeting, 3) test paper ideas out on each
other, 4) brainstorm regarding the final exam, etc. On the first day of
class, I will, as part of our first assignment, get those of you who know
about e-mail to take twenty minutes to teach those of you who don't know
about e-mail how to use it. I AM MORE THAN WILLING TO SET UP GROUP
APPOINTMENTS WITH YOU IN ORDER TO TEACH YOU HOW TO USE THIS
TECHNOLOGY--so if you feel lost, you simply need to say so.
AS THIS IS A 50-MINUTE CLASS, PLEASE SHOW UP ON TIME OR EVEN EARLY.
Since I know that disasters happen unexpectedly during the semester, I
allow you two absences. In other words, there's no such thing in this
class as an "excused" absence. I don't want to know why you miss class;
these two absences are your business. Missing more than two classes is
equally your business, but it will significantly lower your grade, since
it will inhibit your ability to contribute significantly to our
discussions. You should count on 3-4 absences lowering your grade by 1/3
(B to B-, for example), 5-6 by 2/3 (B to C+), 7-8 by one full grade (B to
This class will conduct itself as a discussion rather than a lecture. I
say this now because I do not want anyone taking this class to expect it
to be a lecture class. I do sometimes lecture for 5-15 minute stretches,
but the bulk of our time will be spent in real discussion, and the topics
of our discussion will be determined as much by your intellectual
interests as by my own. This means that you should expect class periods
to be intense and fun, a place to test out your own ideas about what
we're reading. You can expect me to come in every class with 30 minutes
of my own agenda planned; in turn, I will expect the 30 of you to have at
least 20 minutes of questions, observations, and discoveries about the
reading. Students who do not participate in our discussions will most
likely see their final grade go down; the four or five students who end
up carrying much of the burden of discussion will probably see their hard
work reflected in their grade as well.
Most importantly, you should expect class discussion often to follow
your interests and concerns as you voice them. Usually, I will ask those
of you who have written paragraphs for that day to read your paragraphs
aloud, as a way of beginning. I will expect the rest of you at least TO
BRING IN ONE QUESTION that you want to ask the rest of us--and you
should, when possible, choose interpretive questions ("I don't understand
how these two passages can be part of the same poem") rather than factual
questions ("When did Robinson write this?") In particular, I urge you to
pay special attention to those points where you don't understand
something in the reading--where you've tried to find out the answer
for yourself and failed--because they are the most important for the
Reading and Writing Assignments
As this course is a lower-level, introductory course, I am assuming that
you have little or no experience in reading poetry. Consequently, the
reading load for this course is relatively light (averaging about 6 hours
per week), and the writing load for this course is relatively heavy (six
one-paragraph article summaries, three short one-paragraph discussion
"instigators," five listserv responses, a periodical assignment, two
short essays, and a longer essay with an annotated bibliography attached
to it). Instructions concerning all of these assignments are below.
Work that is graded during the semester is included under "Graded Work
for This Course."
- The Three Essays: During the semester, I will ask you to hand in
three essays 750-1750 words long. At the end of the semester, I will ask
you to revise two of these essays for a portfolio that I will then
evaluate. So, during the semester, I will read and respond to the essays
you hand in to me, and, beginning with the second one, explain to you
what kind of grade it would receive were it to be handed in at the end of
the semester in the portfolio. You can consider these essays as dry runs
for the portfolio, since for the portfolio I will ask you to select your
best work, revise it, and hand it in for a grade. This way, you will
have the opportunity to test ideas and take chances without being
immediately penalized for it.
- The Periodical Assignment: During the semester, I'll ask you once to
go read a several reviews of the same poem written during the Romantic
Period in order to acquaint you with the periodicals of the time. I will
give you directions for this assignment during the semester. This
assignment will be graded, and counted as one of the paragraphs.
GRADED WORK FOR THIS COURSE
Your grade will be determined by three components: the quality of
your in-class performance (including the six article summaries, the three
paragraphs, and the six listserver responses, 20% of your grade), your
performance on the final exam (30% of your grade), and the quality of the
portfolio of work that you hand in at the end of the semester (50% of
grade). These various assignments are listed and described below:
- 1) Periodical Assignment and Three short paragraphs (10% of
grade--paragraphs no more than 200
words): While the Periodical Assignment will count as one of your
paragraphs, the other three will be done as follows. Three times during
the semester, I will ask you to write a paragraph that you will bring
into class on that day. On any given day, we will likely have 5-6
students bringing in paragraphs and reading them aloud. These paragraphs
should be straight to the point, without introductory material, and in
your speaking ("I") voice. You should think of these paragraphs as
instigators, designed to elicit thinking responses from your classmates;
at least part of my grading of them will be based on how well they
produce useful discussion. You should see these paragraphs as
significant opportunities for you to determine the agenda of the class.
THEREFORE, YOUR PARAGRAPHS SHOULD BE ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT TO FOCUS ON IN
THE CLASS PERIOD, AND WHY. The paragraph should, without introduction or
padding, explain the following: i) what part of what poem interests you,
ii) what question you want to pose for discussion regarding it, iii) how
you think we should approach your question, and iv) what you think that
we will gain by discussing these particular concerns. What will we be
able to see or understand that we couldn't before? Your paragraphs
should take no more than 90 seconds to read, and YOU SHOULD DESIGN THEM
TO BE READ ALOUD. I will grade them on the basis of their intellectual
intensity, clarity, and curiosity.
- 2) Five responses on the class listserver (10% of grade--at least
250 words in length): In the first nine weeks of the semester, I
will ask you to participate in the discussion we have on the class
listserver (send all messages to firstname.lastname@example.org). You
may write in when you have something you want to contribute, propose,
respond to, etc., and may do so any time over the semester before
April 15. You may participate as much as you wish, but I require
that you make at least six entries. PLEASE DO NOT CRAM IN ALL OF YOUR
ENTRIES AFTER SPRING BREAK, SINCE IT DEFEATS THE PURPOSE OF HAVING
ON-LINE DISCUSSION GROUPS, AND SINCE IT WILL LOWER YOUR GRADE ON THIS
REQUIREMENT. At the end of the semester, I will read through all of the
listserv activity and evaluate your level of engagement, and it will
count as 10% of your final grade.
- 3) Seven Article Summaries (5% of grade): I intentionally
chosen some of the most important critics of the last 25 years when I
chose the articles we will read for the course. Consequently, in many
ways they are the most important aspect of the course, in that they will
familiarize you with reading literary criticism, and with the kinds of
issues that lately have dominated scholarly work on Romantic Poetry. As
a way of insuring that you read these articles closely, I have assigned
throughout the semester a number of one-page summaries of the articles we
read for the class. I will simply read through these and check them off
so long as your summary convinces me that you have read the article.
- 4) The Final Exam (25% of grade): This will be split between
a lengthy identification section, and an essay question. As part of the
preparation for the exam, I will ask you to put onto the listserver one
final exam question that you would like to see on the final. I will then
use your final exam questions as the basis for the essay section of the
- 5) The Portfolio (50% of grade): This should represent the
your best work of the semester, and should really be the best, most
finished, immaculate work you can do. Each portfolio will contain the
- One Short Essay (less than 1000 words--do not go over this).
Even though these papers are short, they should be well-thought-out, as
rigorously argued as the longer essay, and as lucidly written. Because
of their short length, your prose will have to be efficient and dense,
and show the results of your attentive thinking on the topic rather than
being mere extemporaneous prose. If you so choose, you may think of your
response papers during the semester as trial runs for the longer essay as
well; however, you should not, for both your short and long essay, hand
in two versions of the same paper in your portfolio. This means that you
should not hand in two papers on the same text, or that treat the same
general topic, or that make the same argument. The short essay is worth
15% of your grade.
- One Longer Essay (1500-2500 words), that should address a question of
your own choosing, and will represent the most sustained piece of work
for the course. Ideally, it should treat at least two texts in the
course, and whatever outside materials you have dug up. While you must
hand in a prospectus of this paper during the semester, I also recommend
that you come to see me during my office hours before you begin writing
this essay. This essay is worth 20% of your grade.
- The Annotated Bibliography (at least 1500 words) will be an appendix
to the long paper, and must include at least two articles on the text[s]
you have written on for your Longer Essay. A complete explanation of
this assignment will be given to you on another handout. The Annotated
Bibliography is worth 15% of your grade.
Late Work and Extensions
During the semester, I DO NOT ACCEPT LATE WORK. If you do not make a
deadline, it does not directly affect your grade; you simply lose that
opportunity for me to read your work and provide you with feedback. For
example, if you miss the second paper deadline, you simply lose that
opportunity for me to read your work and help you with feedback. I do
this because I do not want anything to do with the hassles of students
asking for extensions, bringing excuses, etc. I will only read each
paper you write once before the portfolio. However, I am happy to
discuss work in progress with you during my office hours or by
appointment; and will be very happy to talk with you about an essay that
I've commented upon. It is a good idea to bring in a draft with specific
questions about it. It is much more instructive to discuss specific
questions and writing problems in a draft than general, abstract
questions concerning your writing.
As I'm interested in what you think about this material, I do not like
reading plagiarized work, and will fail any student who hands in
plagiarized work for the course. If you have a question about whether
you are plagiarizing something, definitely err on the side of caution and
come ask me.